Huskies shut down Comets

Mike ErwinJournal-Capital
Huskies shut down Comets

KANSAS, Okla. — A power outage darkened local Dee Neel Stadium for 15 minutes Friday night, but the Pawhuska Huskies’ defense kept the attack of the Kansas Comets turned off all night long.

Strong efforts up front by seniors Trey Powell and Marshall Tolson, with solid support from juniors Hayden Henley and Chanler Collins, paved the way to a 17-0 shutout in the non-district high school football game. The Huskie quartet combined to make 11 sacks and tackles for losses. Pawhuska limited the Comets to just 37 yards of combined offense.

The visitors took the lead for keeps on their second possession by going 39 yards in eight plays after Kansas capped its first series with a 2-yard punt. Sophomore Caleb Bruce stepped through tacklers on a 19-yard touchdown run and then kicked the point-after for a 7-0 Pawhuska edge. With 27 seconds left before halftime, Bruce kicked a 23-yard field goal to put the Huskies up by 10.

John BigHorse, another two-way sophomore starter, gained 69 yards in 14 carries and scored the second Huskie TD from six yards out with a little over four minutes remaining. Pawhuska finished with only eight first downs, but that was twice as many as the host squad gained. Kansas went zero-for-12 through the air after completing a 13-yard pass on its first play from scrimmage.

Early in the second half, Kansas made its deepest incursion of the evening after recovering a fumble in Huskie territory. The Comets tried a long pass against PHS sophomore cornerback Levi Youngwolfe, who was stride-for-stride with the receiver. Youngwolfe leaped to make an interception and then circled 60 yards down the sideline before being pushed out at the Kansas 10.

Bruce had a perfect night place kicking for the Huskies as he converted both points-after touchdowns in addition to nailing the momentum-building field goal right before halftime. The second extra point required extraordinary concentration by PHS’s kicker and the holder. Hindman fielded a bounced snap and put the ball in place for Bruce to boot.

Although the Huskies failed to cash in immediately, they did maintain a field-position advantage through the next six offensive series — all of which ended with punts. Recent rainfall left the field sloppy and made the ball slick, which contributed to a rash of bad snaps, slips, fumbles and drops on both sides.

Pawhuska was denied an apparent safety late in the third quarter when Henley recorded a takedown of the Kansas quarterback in the end zone. In last-second desperation, the Comet QB also had flung the ball away — providing additional grounds for a safety. The officials, however, ruled forward progress had ended the play at the one-yard line (rather than a yard deep in the end zone, which wouldn have been the correct call).

The shutout was the third registered this season against the Comets (0-6). It was Pawhuska’s first whitewash since Oct. 12, 2012, when the Huskies blanked Chouteau, 42-0, in a contest played about 30 miles west of here.

“All we wanted to do was win and get on to the next game,” PHS head coach Bob Craig said. “It’s always nice to get a shutout — it showed there weren’t any major breakdowns.”

Pawhuska will have another 100-mile plus road trip this Thursday for a District 2A-8 showdown at Commerce.

Pawhuska 17, Kansas 0

Pawhuska Huskies: 7 - 3 - 0 - 7 — 17

Kansas (OK) Comets: 0 - 0 - 0 - 0 — 0

First quarter

P — Caleb Bruce 18-yd run (Bruce kick), 5:28

Second quarter

P — 23-yd field goal, Caleb Bruce, :27

Fourth quarter

P — John BigHorse 6-yd run (Bruce kick), 4:09

GAME STATS

1st downs: Pawhuska 8, Kansas 4

Rushes-yds: P 42-112, K 36-24

Passing yards: P 31, K 13

Comps-atts-int: P 4-12-0, K 1-13-1

Fumbles lost: P 2, K 0

Punts-avg: P 5-26, K 7-18

Returns yds: P 69, K 33

Penalties-yds: P 9-70, K 2-14

Kansas Comets (0-6) — RUSHING: Ty Whorten 15 carries for 23 yards, Jared Hogshooter 14-14, Aaron Reeder 6-minus 5, Rowdy Chesser 1-minus 8. PASSING: Jared Hogshooter 1 completion from 13 attempts for 13 yards with 1 intercepted. RECEIVING: Sheldon Snell 1 catch for 13 yards.

Pawhuska Huskies (2-4) — RUSHING: John Bighorse 14 carries for 69 yards with 1 TD, Caleb Bruce 11-24-1 TD, Brian Jeffers 2-10, Colton Hindman 12-9, Hayden Javellas 2-2, Mathew Taft 1-minus 2. PASSING: Colton Hindman 4 completions in 12 attempts for 31 yds. RECEIVING: Trey RedEagle 2 catches for 11 yds, Caleb Bruce 1-11, Hayden Javellas 1-6.